Spice Girl and author Geri Halliwell-Horner is no stranger to impeccable style, and the same elegant ethos applies to her home, and in particular, her front porch.
Your front door is one of the most seen parts of your home’s exterior and makes an important first impression, setting expectations for the interior beyond. Therefore, choosing the right design is vital. Cottage and period front doors are characterized by humble yet often quirky designs, traditional materials and classic, perhaps hand-forged, ironmongery. However, this charming style is not just limited to chocolatebox cottages, and offers a wealth of inspiration for adding warmth and personality to a range of property styles.
Below, designers, conservationists, and joinery experts talk about why they adore the rustic charm of Geri Halliwell's front porch, and how you can achieve the look.
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The focal point of your house’s exterior, your front door sets the tone for what lies beyond, so choose an authentic design that’s built to last.
‘Getting the right door for the house can transform the entire look of the building,’ says Chris Harrison, commercial director at joinery company Jack Badger. ‘The character of property lends them to a bespoke design from a specialist joinery firm, as they will be able to help inform the design to ensure the period detail is correct, and will also have the experience to fit the door in a way that works with the character of the property.’
The material your front door is made from will dictate its price, lifespan and required maintenance. Wood is the most authentic choice, but there is a big difference in the performance of each timber type. Prized for their beauty and durability, hardwoods such as oak and sapele are premium timbers, often chosen when the door is to be left unpainted so the natural tones and grains can shine through. However, hardwoods are costly and, as with all unmodified timbers, are prone to some movement from moisture.
If, like Geri Halliwell-Horner, you’re lucky enough to have an original front door, then it is vital that you preserve it. ‘Try to retain as much of the door’s existing fabric as possible, including door furniture,’ says Alison de Roeck, managing director of Kierson Sash Window & Timber Restoration. ‘Seek professional assistance and minimize the amount of original material lost by splicing in new timber only where necessary. When making repairs, use like-for-like materials and techniques.’
If you already possess an attractive original door, then you must maintain it regularly to keep it in good condition; but if yours is an inappropriate design or is beyond repair, then take the opportunity to invest in an in-keeping new door that will last for many years.
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Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.
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